This morning, 6/10/2019, NBC’s Today show aired a segment on the trendy meatless burgers and brought us information on whether they are actually healthy. Gadi Schwartz investigated the nutritional value of these burgers.
From grocery stores to fast-food chains, meatless burgers are popping up everywhere and Wall Street has gotten the message. These new foods have also made real hamburger prices go up.
What is in these patties to make them look like hamburgers? These patties are plant-based in their ingredients. Many veggie burgers are made from vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (like beans or lentils). These are good-for-you ingredients that provide fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Fruit juices are used to color and beet juice is added to make the meat bleed. The market has soared in demand for these patties because they contain no cholesterol or fat. Most brands tested have only 70-120 calories per patty.
One study found that some of the brands contained more salt than real meat competitors.
Schwartz grilled a veggie patty from Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat and a real hamburger patty for a taste test with participants. The 3 tasters said Beyond Meat tasted as good as the real hamburger. This explains why sales are skyrocketing.
The downside of some store-bought veggie patties is they are often dry, under-seasoned, and contain preservatives or unnatural ingredients. Not all meatless patties are created equal—both in terms of taste and nutrition. They can be high in sodium, packed with processed soy, and according to one report, the neurotoxin hexane.
Always read the ingredients and nutritional facts on the box before purchasing any brand. You need just a few minutes to make healthy, low-calorie veggie patties at home.
Photo courtesy of Bing via onegreenplanet.org